In two prior posts I outline the reasons why the Church must return to one of its primary callings, the education of its children. In the most recent post, I set forth the foundation for godly education as embodied in the fourth and fifth commandments. In this post, I would like to elaborate on that thought. In my last post, I pointed out that the fourth and fifth commandments are unique, in that they are reciprocal, they are about all of life and there is a promise appended to them that it would go well with the people to the extent they are faithful to the fourth and fifth commandments. It is the concept that the fourth and fifth commandments encompass all of life, particularly as it relates to educating our children, that needs a little more elaboration.
The fourth commandment clearly establishes a cycle of life of six days labor and one day of rest and worship. In a sense, it is a liturgical dance between generations. If we keep in mind, as James K. A. Smith points out, that liturgies create loves, we should see where this is going. But what kind of loves should this liturgical dance be creating?
The reader of the book of Deuteronomy need not go very far, for in the next chapter, chapter 6, Moses commands,
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
This passage outlines the conduct of the six days of the liturgical dance. The reader should note the words used: love, teach, talk of them, bind. All of these words describe a loving dialogue and discourse between generations. This is education. It is a process of transferring a culture from one generation to the next. It is a process of transferring a love for truth and beauty, a love for sound logic, and a love for useful rhetoric. It is for a healthy exchange of ideas, but all within an established system of truth. In the parlance of the old classical schools, we are talking about grammar, logic and rhetoric. In the language Proverbs, we are talking about knowledge, truth and wisdom. Do we think this is what is going on in our government school system on a daily basis? I would dare say not. What we get from our government schools is a “race to the top” and a “common core” of “outcomes.”
- The Good in Common Core II (blackstoneinitiative.com)